Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 21
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Adventures in Game Design: A Gateway to Equity

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Sunday, June 23, 11:30 am–1:30 pm
Location: Posters: Level 4, Terrace Ballroom Lobby, Table 17

Cindy Wong   JoAnn Westhall   Lori Stahl-Van Brackle  
Learn how Game Design in Google’s CS First Clubs can meet the needs of all students and their diverse backgrounds while engaging them in a fun and creative way to build games and learn computer science.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Library media specialists
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Universal design for learning/differentiated learning
Grade level: 3-5
Subject area: STEM/STEAM, Computer science
ISTE Standards: For Education Leaders:
Equity and Citizenship Advocate
  • Ensure all students have access to the technology and connectivity necessary to participate in authentic and engaging learning opportunities.
  • Ensure all students have skilled teachers who actively use technology to meet student learning needs.
For Educators:
  • Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.
Related exhibitors: iTranslate

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

According to, statistic shows that there is about 2% of students taking computer science classes which is not enough to fill the gap in the workforce. Furthermore, of the students taking computer science, many are men who are White or Asian. Therefore, our purpose is to reach more educators and show them resources that can help educate more underrepresented students in the classroom. Game Design in Google’s CS First Clubs is a creative and fun way to learn computer science and programming. It is a blended learning platform that allows teacher to facilitate and students to control the speed and process of their learning. We also want to show participants the available accessibility functions such as closed captioning, transcripts of videos, etc. to meet the needs of all students and their diverse backgrounds. Many times, only certain population or groups are exposed to Game Design but using this program, it can engage and excite more underrepresented students such as students with special needs, females, and English language learners to build more games and programs. This session will be hands-on and interactive, where participants will learn how to sign up for free materials for their students which includes journals and badges as well as test out Scratch, a block based coding platform to build a game. Participants will be able to take the information they learn from today’s session and bring it back to their classrooms.
I have used Game Design in my classroom over the past two years with Special Education students, autistic students, minorities, and females, and found many successes. Students were highly engaged and intrigued with the ability to create their own games using Scratch.

Supporting research

Kapp, Karl M. The gamification of learning and instruction: game-based methods and strategies for training and education. John Wiley & Sons, 2012.

Woo, Jeng-Chung. "Digital Game-Based Learning Supports Student Motivation, Cognitive Success, and Performance Outcomes." Journal of Educational Technology & Society 17.3 (2014).

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Cindy Wong, P.S.41Q

Cindy Wong is an elementary tech teacher at P.S.41Q The Crocheron School in Bayside, Queens. She is a Google Trainer and presented at the past three NYC DOE Schools Tech Summit on topics around G Suite for Education and CS First Clubs. This year she is a Community Builder Fellow for CS4All, one of the NYC Chancellor's Equity and Excellence initiatives, to spread the culture of computer science to teachers, parents, and students.

JoAnn Westhall, P.S.31Q The Bayside School

2019 Big Apple Award for Teacher Excellence, New York City Schools. NYS K-12 Educational Technology Specialist. JoAnn Westhall is a NYC Computer Science Instructor and Showcase Teaching Fellow, Grades Pre-K-5 at PS 31 in Bayside, Queens. Additionally, JoAnn works as a NYCDOE CS4all Professional Development Lead and Teacher (Equity and Excellence Initiative) supporting staff throughout NYC and leading training sessions for teachers locally. She is a recognized CS Fellow contributing to the NYCDOE Blueprint for CS instruction and curriculum consultant. For efforts in ensuring equity and access in CS Education, she was nominated as a 2017 Daily News Hometown Hero.

Lori Stahl-Van Brackle, NYC DOE

Lori Stahl-Van Brackle was a technology teacher in middle school for 13 years until she took the position of Instructional Technology Director for the Manhattan NYCDOE Borough Office. In this role she supports schools as they develop ways to use technology in creative ways to reach students and provide multiple entry points to content. One focus of her work is on Maker Education and her Maker Ed Cohort includes over 35 schools in Manhattan. You can see the work they've been doing at

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